Siam on the Beach
A Taste of Thai is authentic – and popular — from Dragon Roll to donuts

Soraluk “Aoy” Trisophon has been a student, an emigrant, a family man, a busboy, a convenience store clerk and the manager of a Japanese restaurant. About two years ago, the former resident of Bangkok opened Taste of Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar in Indian Harbour Beach, and if things stay as they are, he probably will be able to add “beachside staple” to his list of titles.

“After nearly two weeks of not getting it right with restaurant choices, it was a delight to eat in here tonight. We had a sushi starter and a Thai main . . . . The food was beautifully presented and well cooked, the flavors well-balanced and the ingredients fresh . . . Overall I would eat here every week if I could,” visitor Andrew Murray wrote.

Martin Greene, a world traveler, is not exactly a fan of Thai food because so much of it is less than authentic, but he came away from a Taste of Thai with a positive impression. “It’s not bad, not bad at all. In fact, it’s rather nice,” he said.

Trisophon was pleased to hear it, having made sure his whimsically bedecked little bistro, where the walls and ceilings are festooned with everything from nautically-themed decorations, flags and blown-up reviews of the restaurant to paintings of the king and queen of Thailand, has what it takes to get such compliments. It also has friendly, knowledgeable staffers, beer, wine and sake on the beverage list, live entertainment on weekends and preparers willing to take an extra minute or two to get the food right.

Sushi is preeminent here, with a long, creative menu that includes signature items like the Melbourne Beach Roll and Red Dragon Roll presented with an eye toward color and décor, as well as flavor. The Pad Thai, that necessity in Thai restaurants, is a huge seller, probably because it is not the heavy, somewhat oily, over-spiced version found in some Thai-style restaurants and the flavor of coconut is not lost in the red curry.

Trisophon does take the more subtle approach to preparation, a wise thing when one considers the complexity of tastes and textures inherent in Thai cuisine.

“Chicken Satay,” for example, does not mean “peanut-saturated;” rather, the coconut milk and curry in which the skewered chicken is prepared are evident, and diners get cucumber as well as peanut sauce. His version of larb, the national dish of Laos that has become standard fare in neighboring Thailand too, presents its multiple flavors, as well: chopped chicken, onion, scallions, rice powder and a little chili pepper.

Finally, some diners don’t really consider Asian restaurants as dessert havens, but A Taste of Thai may just disabuse them of that notion. Its fried bananas with ice cream is a big (think, “for sharing”) beautifully arranged dish that is not so sweet that it hurts your teeth, and its sweet sticky rice with mango is a colorful delight. Peanut-topped fried Thai donuts are served warm, with a side of sweetened condensed milk.

“A lot of people come back, you know?” Trisophon said. “That’s what we want. We’re glad people come back. We try to do the right thing for the people and if you do the right thing, the people come back.”

Taste of Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar

Address: 1924 N. State Road A1A, Indian Harbour Beach.

Phone: (321) 777-4411

Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; dinner, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Other: Outdoor seating, entertainment on weekends, catering and take-out available.